Thursday, February 26, 2009


Why the overwhelming need to whine? It must be the gloomy, wants-to-rain-but-won't, weather that's got me in the dumps today. But what's the use of having a blog if you can't occasionally post a good snivel.

Here's my problem: I recently participated in my first "real" exchange. The lady who set it up did a great job - she was really on the ball. And, if you read below you know, I was pretty excited about it. I ran around getting the bits and pieces to send to my partner, packaged it up pretty and even mailed it before the deadline.

So, it has been doubley disappointing that my partner didn't come through - poor communication and no reciprocal package . I couldn't get her to respond to my email correcting my address and, when I did hear from her, she didn't give me any guidance on her likes and dislikes.

I mailed the package and waited expectantly. The mailing date passes (Jan. 31) and I don't hear from her that she mailed her exchange. She emails me the following week that she received min (actually "got it") and "liked it" and that she would mail hers at the end of that week. Then, about ten days later, the lady running the asks that we mail her if we haven't received our end. So I do. And I get a ten word email from my partner saying to expect an envelope.

Two weeks later, nothing. So I'm kind of bummed. Maybe exchanges aren't for me. It would be nice to receive SOMETHING or at least a response more than got it and liked it. Oh well. I'll write this one off as an unfortunate episode. I guess this is a common problem in exchanges. (And I did email the lady in charge to let her know that my partner didn't come through but that I just writing it off).

But I'm still bummed.

I need chocolate.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I was bad - but I have a finish!

Ok - I wasn't good last week. I just couldn't face another weekend of BAP stitching.

La-D-Da Polly Wolly Doodle - GAST 1 x 2 on 40ct Sand Linen

I didn't start anything new - well not at first. I finished a band sampler I had started last year (HDF on 30ct Legacy Dower Linen - a dream to stitch). It's very long so I'll post a picture when I have sunshine and someone to hold it up for the photo! I was really pleased with the finish.

So, to celebrate, I had a new start! And a new finish! What a wonderful quick little stitch!

I kitted up La-D-Da's Polly Wolly Doodle last summer at a LNS in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Its bright colors and happy little picture was just the thing for winter blahs!

I might even frame this one. (Yeah right).

On another note - I purchased and downloaded Anagram Diffusion's Four Seasons Sampler last week. All their patterns have been discontinued but are available at 1/4 the cost for download. Quite a deal. I'm also expecting another load of Annie's Keepers so I can get all my new silks into storage.

Until I have sunshine for a picture - stay warm!


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mandela Progress

I am trying very hard to be good this weekend. I'm trying very hard not to start a new project or pick up another WIP. Instead, I'm plugging away on the Chatelaine Designs Knot Garden.

Chatelaine Designs Knot Garden 2x2 HDF and SNC
on 30ct Legacy Dower Linen Coconut Cream

I really enjoy working on this piece, for all my grumbling. But I think it is more the tactile enjoyment of the quality of the materials rather than being in love with the design. I'm using HDF instead of DMC and the fabric is 30ct Legacy Dower Linen - one of my favorite linens - great hand, soft but not limp - a nice substantial linen.

I'm doing this piece as a companion to the Convent Herb Garden. I'm hoping to frame them as a pair (yeah right - when was the last time I framed ANYTHING?)

On another note, I picked up enough of Kristen Fox's Celtic Letters from Stab and Stash to spell out welcome in Gaelic (Failte).

I have a Failte sign in my front entry but I'd like to put up a stitched on instead. I didn't realize the letters are 150x150 (or about 7.5"x7.5" 2x on 40 ct) bringing the entire sign to 38" - looks like another BAP to me. But I think I will substitute an overdyed silk for the multi-color confetti stitches and do each letter in a different color - I'm thinking I'll use 40ct PTP Relic if I can get a cut that will work. I'll use a dark green overdyed for the leaves and maybe a bluish silk for the circular motifs. Another BAP to kit up - like I need another one!

It's warm and windy here today - one of those odd January days you can get in the midwest - so I'm off to get a little sunshine!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wintertime Exchange

Here is my first "real" exchange package - shipped out first class today! The theme was Wintertime Blues (or really, chase away the wintertime blues) so i sent some springy things to my exchange partner. I spent WAY to much time worrying about this package - too much running around! I hope she likes it - I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

I sent her a Brittercup Springtime Friends chart, the GAST thread and two JABC buttons for the pattern, a piece of 30ct Dower Linen, a green/pink scissor fob, two 1/4 yard spring fabrics and a bar of lavender/sage soap that's made locally. The package should smell really good when it arrives!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stalking the mailman

Waiting for the Mail - Grant Wright Christian, 1937-38

Two posts in one week? Well, not really. This is more of a whine. But where better to whine than your blog?

Ok, here goes:

I hate waiting on mail. I have become so spoiled by vendors who ship quickly and shipping companies that get it right out that I can hardly stand it when I know something is on the way but I have to WAIT. And of course, I'm waiting on stitchy stuff. Really good stitchy stuff!

My Christmas gift from my sister is the kit and pattern for the Chatelaine Japanese Mandela. The kit and pattern were available just recently so my sister placed the order. When she checked back, Cindy at Europeanxs told here that one of the fibers was backordered and it would ship as soon as they came in. Cindy usually ships so fast that she doesn't need to send a notice that something shipped. The fabric came last week ( 32ct Star Sapphire linen from 123stitch). The waiting is driving me crazy!

(Ok, I have to admit it - I can't even start this anytime soon. I have WAY too many WIPS right now and I'm committed (or as committed as I can be) to finishing at least one BAP before I start another. I just want to play with the threads.)

AND then I have a linen of the month coming from Shakespeare's Peddler. It's an auto-ship but I know it's on its way because Teresa charged my card last week.

The worst part - I lost my mailbox key (somewhere in the house) so I can't check the mail when I get home. My husband gets the mail when he gets home - which means I have to wait AN HOUR till he gets there and then he knows what I bought (doubly bad!)

Ok, done whining. Sort of. For now.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Blessing Ball I - Girly and Gaudy

The pictures are not too great (it's late and I had to use my Iphone to photograph it under my Ott Lite) but you can get the idea of the start of the ball. It's much more "pastel" IRL.

I put the baby's name, birthdate, and weight/height after that, then rolled it up and tied it with an itsy bitsy ribbon.

The Celtic Blessing inside reads:

May strong arms hold you
Loving hands tend you
And love await you at every step.

The blessing and bell were put inside a scooped out 3" styrofoam ball that has been wrapped (temari style) with yarn and thread. The ball was then wrapped with an overdyed silk ribbon in pink/blue/green/lavender and then a 1/2" pink organza ribbon over that to tone down the colors. (The photograph makes the ribbon look much more vivid than in IRL).

The ball has (so far) been stitched with Waterlilies silk to make the vines and then decorated with silk ribbon leaves, 2 kinds of silk ribbon flowers, glass flowers and leaves and petite seed beads in clear and mauve (to make the buds at the base of the ribbon leaves).

I am going to string a bunch of crystal beads to hang in a bunch from the bottom with overdyed pink ribbons. I have embroidered some organza ribbon with the same vines as on the ball then beaded in clear and mauve to make the hanger. I'll probably put some ribbons or beads at the top to hide where the hanger is stitched on. I'm hoping to finish it this week and then get it off into the mail!

It's girly and gaudy (totally not my style) but I hope my friend (who is very girly) likes it. The next one will be a bit more toned down with greens, yellows, white and butterflies.

On another note, I can't resist posting these pictures of our crazy kitten Charger. He's about six months now and such a trip. He squeezes himself into the oddest places and then justs crashes. Gotta love kitty crashes.

(You'll notice that he's sleeping in my stitching corner - notice the scissors - under my Ott Lite.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Goodies Goodies!

Lookie what I found at the most wonderful little store today. Overdyed silk ribbons, beads, little flowers, overdyed yarns - oh my! She has the coolest things at that store - ribbons, yarns, beads, and everything you need to crazy quilt (except the quilt fabric). Embellishment heaven!

I drove about thirty minutes to a wonderful fiber arts store in Parkville, Missouri this afternoon. I had spend the morning finishing my youngest son's pinewood derby car (why, in a housefull of motorhead men do *I* wind up making the car every year I'll never know) and decided I deserved a treat.

I have to make two blessing balls for friends who recently had daughters. The balls are like temari balls except they are wrapped in silk ribbon and embelished with beads and bows and all kinds of girly things. Kind of like a ball shaped crazy quilte.

The ball is hollowed out and a bell and a blessing is put inside before it is wrapped. Every time the bell rings, the baby is blessed.

I'm going to do one in pinks and yellows - very frilly, very girly. The other I am planning to do like a garden - all kinds of greens, leaves a few flowers peeping out, little crystal beads of dew and a butterfly or two. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to get one started. Tonight we finished up the car and my fingertips are too coated with super glue to do any fine work.

Meanwhile, I can gaze at this pile of goodies and sigh happily.

P.S. The store is called Florilegium - if you ever get within an hour of Parkville, Missouri (a norther suburb of Kansas City - you *must* make a visit!